What is ESN?
ESN is short for Erasmus Student Network, which is an European student organisation that is aimed at international exchange programe – erasmus. ESN offices are in many European countries which participate in Erasmus program – more than 12000 members coming from more than 370 local sections in 35 countries. It was established in 1989 on 16th of October. Their motto is “Student helping student”. This motto is very socially oriented and so is ESN. The staff is mostly volunteers. They are the biggest student organisation in Europe.
What is ESN about?”
“The aims of ESN are to promote the social and personal integration of the erasmus exchange students. The local ESN-sections offer help, guidance and other valuable information to the exchange students hosted by their university This is really important for them. Newcomers find their way in the new environment easier and they can utilise their time in the best way possible to get as much out of their exchange as possible. ESN also represents the needs and expectations of exchange students on the local, national and international level. Provision of relevant information about academic exchange programs and student mobility is one of the aims of ESN as well.” I think this describes it well. In other words, if you go for erasmus exchange in any European country chance are there is an ESN office. Even if it is a small city where you would not expect an ESN office. Their staff is kind and always ready and willing to help young students. Being alone in foreign country is not pleasant and they will make sure you will soon feel very confident and relaxed while you are abroad. They usually organise erasmus parties, where students can meet and socialize, so the experience is really great. They also organise trips around the country, language courses (this are actually very good, because mostly this courses are free, or very cheap. This is a great way to learn a foreign language. And we all know that such language courses can be really expensive). Erasmus Student Network also has a website, which is very popular and allows students to meet, discuss and share their experiences online. This is also good for future erasmus studens, because they can inform themselves prior to leaving home country.
The principles of ESN
The main ESN principles are: Works in the interest of international students, works to improve the social and practical integration of international students, represents the needs and rights of international students on the local, national and international level, provides relevant information about mobility programmes, motivates students to study abroad, works with the reintegration of homecoming students, contributes to the improvement and accessibility of student mobility, cares about its members, values volunteering and active citizenship.
Some details about ESN
Current ESN president is Tania Berman who is from France. ESN headquarters are in Brussels. ESN website is http://www.esn.org.